…and then we ate

I knew going to Italy was going to mean a couple of things…

Good wine, good food, and especially good pasta, and I was certainly not let down. Our mornings started with breakfast on the private terrace outside our bedroom overlooking Florence’s Arno River… but that was just the beginning. Pour yourself a glass of wine (and one for me too) and let’s tour a taste of Italy!

We had lunch at the St. Regis’s restaurant Etichetta under a stained glass ceiling they call their “winter garden”.

One of my favorite food experiences was how every meal came with a selection of olive oils. Even once at the SE.STO, there was a menu dedicated specifically just to this!

  

Doppio Espresso! …especially in antique cups

The tradition of the Bloody Mary~ Did you know the Bloody Mary began at the St. Regis? Originally called “The Red Snapper”, it was created in 1934 by Fernand Petiot at the St. Regis New York’s King Cole Bar (sounds like my kind of place) and in Florence, the recipe is adapted to use local ingredients such as replacing vodka with grappa made in Tuscany. All of the St. Regis’s around the world make this signature cocktail and adapt it with their local flavors… ever had a Bloody Mary with sake? It happens!

Another amazing St. Regis tradition is the Champagne Ritual. Every evening wrapped in the lyrical vibrations of the piano player, the bartender pulls out a sword and – with a Napoleon slice – opens the bottle of champagne without spilling a drop! Kevin (being a typical man) had to chat him up about his technique which was, and this is secret, you use a dull blade and you practice for months on cheap Prosecco!

Dinner atop Florence… At the restaurant SE.STO you have sweeping rooftop views of a sparkling Florence at night while you dine on beautiful Italian fare.

I love how they poured the wine here. The sommelier opens the bottle, pours herself a taste to check the wine, then pours you a sip to make sure you like it before serving the table.

At both Se.Sto and Etichetta above, the SPG Member discount is 15%, which isn’t too shabby for an incredible meal dripping in romance… It worked on me!

Lunch with Gucci: Fashion, food & travel heaven. In the heart of Florence is the Gucci Cafe, the birthplace of this legendary luxury brand. Once again, more amazing pasta and delicious wine. After lunch we toured the Gucci Museum which is home to the entire Gucci archive, a vintage fashion lover’s dream.

For dinner we took on a local’s recommendation and ventured to Il Santo Bevitore which was an intimate and terribly romantic place… no detail was too small, even the water came in beautiful glass. 

  

So many of my social media friends sent me restaurant recommendations for my time in Florence and I’d love to share them with you!

Il Santo Bevitore – @ashleytakespics
IO Osteria Personale – @ta970, @pecchio
Trattoria 4 Leoni – @pecchio
Mariano (for a panini and cappuccino) – @suzie_reecer
Antico Noe – @sashapearl
La Giostra – @kaleyhollis, @anasong9
Il Latini – @kayabella
Caffe Rivoire – @kayabella
I Tarocchi (try the fagottini de pera!) – @kayabella
I Fratelli – @ktvon
Trattoria Nerone – @angelica_j
Cibreo – @scootermaven
‘Ino – @scootermaven
Borgo Antico (for cheesecake) – @lhaynie
ZaZa (mmm, truffle ravioli) – @yara1104
Gelateria la Carraia – @thecallendergirl
Olio e Convivium – @alinemonnard

buon appetito!